ALBANY — Gov. Kathy Hochul proposed new initiatives on Monday aimed at increasing the state’s reliance on renewable energy and combating climate change in the wake of a brutal storm earlier this month that flooded New York City.
She announced that the state awarded contracts to two companies to build separate transmission lines bringing clean energy from Upstate and Canada down to the five boroughs.
The first line Clean Path NY project — developed by Forward Power and the New York Power Authority — will create a 174 mile-long transmission line from the Fraser Substation in Delaware County to the Rainey Substation on Roosevelt Island in Queens. The second, the Champlain Hudson Power Express, is expected to span 339-miles of buried cable under water and land connecting Quebec to Astoria Energy Center in Queens.
Hochul said the combined undertaking will result in 10,000 jobs — mainly in construction — amounting to 8,600 positions for Clean Path NY, the shorter line, and 1,400 for the Champlain Hudson line.
But when pressed by The Post on project cost and whether or not ratepayers will see increases in their utility bills, Hochul failed to give details.
“We can get you all those details, but this is part of a commitment from the city of New York to make sure that we can start weaning New York City — but also hard hit neighborhoods — from the fossil the dirty fossil fuel plants that are now pervasive in many communities of color, that is not sustainable.”
The Canada-based plan was also slammed by the Independent Power Producers of New York, Inc. — the trade association representing power companies — for it’s anticipated cost and outsourcing of jobs across the border.
“Robust private sector response to NYSERDA’s solicitation shows there are developers and generators ready to continue their investments in our state – Clear Path New York is a great example of that investment. However, approving the Champlain Hudson Power Express without an upstate converter station that would allow New York’s own generators to connect to the line is a mistake,” said IPPNY President and CEO Gavin J. Donohue in a statement.
“In addition to its hefty price tag, the Champlain Hudson line has long brought concerns of outsourcing New York jobs and lackluster emission reductions due to ‘greenwashing.’ While the State’s process will ultimately verify the source of the power on the line, giving this opportunity to a Canadian company rather than New York’s generators who have stepped up to the plate time and time again is wrong.”
A spokeswoman for the NYS Energy Research and Development Authority later told The Post cost estimates would be disclosed “within the coming weeks” when the corporation submits final contracts to the state’s utility regulator, the Public Service Commission, for approval.
The Clean Path NY project is slated to be completed by 2025 and the Champlain Hudson line will follow two years later.
Hochul also announced a solar energy goal to increase the state’s six gigawatt footprint by 2025 to ten gigawatts by 2030. The plan is slated to bring power to 1.7 million homes, according to the state.